|The Sweeps have evolved..|
Sure there are a lot of people rage quitting and bitching over pedantic rules (who know who you are!), but the game is simple to grasp and play if you are a 'gamer'..you get me? Cool.
Crons. Fliers. Done. Replace Wraiths investment with Fliers (Invasion Beams is sweet! TL Annihilator is great anti flier and more anti infantry!)and call it a day. Nah, jokes. There's more to it than that... and starting with the Overlord on a Command Barge (which is now Chariotastic) I'm going to examine each in more detail.
The changes, both bad and good and how these units that I used to love fit into my army. First off, they still absolutely work. In my humble opinion, they are better, but require a little more thought - they are not just 'Sweep Attack' mother lickers..there is more thought required now...
WARNING - Good "strategery" inside..
Movement is when the Sweep happens, now classified as unit type 'Chariot' with specific rules about movement etc, the Sweep can now longer be done on huge, graceful curves as you sweep in and bounce off of a unit, cutting the Land Raider in half as you go. The main reason, nay only reason, only reason for this is that the 'flat out' element of the move occurs in the shooting phase.
So our glorious Barge can only move 12" in the movement phase, making it harder, clearly, to sweep over units and cut them up. However, this is largely solved by the application of a little brainpower.
In most cases, you were not Sweep Attacking on turn one, unless it was (old) Dawn of War and they'd thrown in a Drop Pod cause you forced them to go first, then you've swept over and cut up their Dread.. Yay! By and large, we were sweeping on turn 2, meaning turn one consisted of a set up move, a positional play if you like.
So here we are in 6th and we need to move 12" in the movement phase, but then we can move up to 18" in the shooting phase as the Command barge is a fast skimmer. A 6" total movement gain from edition to edition. Now it is not as favourable as it was before, but it is faster. With the 2 deployment types leaving only about 24" between each army, this means that you are always going to be sweeping on turn 2 if you want to.
For me, using the sweeps was not always as easy as just lashing out and cutting stuff up. It was a cat and mouse game where overextension over your Command Barges would always leave them grounded and exposed.
As an HQ unit, this was never really a massive issue - a throwaway 180-210 points that'd cause a real headache and draw fire, allowing the rest of the army to do its thing. In 6th, over extension will definitely still be a killer, but in addition the Warlord will be one the Overlords and therefore you could potentially be giving away 1 VP in Secondary Objectives for killing your Warlord. If you overextend too much, they may also draw First Blood and gain a second VP because you've played sloppily.
By and large, I'd wait and draw out my opponents with targets of opportunity and, typically, troops used in an aggressive manner. Then the Sweeps would come in, supported by rapid fire from the Gauss Blasters of the Immortal Phalanxs and Wraiths or Annihilation Barges.
Other elements of movement for the Command Barge Lord.. well, he has the Jink special rule, so as long as he moves he gets a 5+, which improves to a 4+ if he moves flat out. This maintains the survivability of the Command Barge from 5th. Moving 12" and not moving flat out means you can also fire off the underslung weapon - whether it is the S5Ap3 or the S6 Ap-, your choice..in 5th I always ran the Gauss for extra marine killing on the way in to charge from the barge. The boost to 'Ap-' not reducing your damage roll is a boon. I'm tempted.
That Sweep Attack then. Keep this simple, 3 attacks on 3's and then on 4's if you move over 6". This is technically now improved as there is a greater likelihood of you hitting on 3's, soon as you can only move 12" in the Sweep phase (as the movement phase should be known). However, most of the time, you'll want to move just enough to Sweep and then back off a bit, typically this will be over 6".
Remember, the Sweeps can be Precision strikes still, targeting who you want on a roll of a 6. This is fantastic if you are intending to charge a unit or need to kill a certain weapon. It's sniping, but far more cinematic and cool..
Also remember the weapon you are using. It is a S7, AP1, Armourbane weapon. you roll 2d6 to penetrate as always have, but not you also get +2 to the Damage Table roll, should you penetrate the back of a vehicle. You still kill land raiders with this weapon, you still slice transports literally in half.
Charging with the Barge. Chariots can Charge. I'm sure you've read that, but you really do need to think about how chuffing cool that is. And effective. As far as I can tell (please correct me with references if I am wrong) the Barge can move 12" and then charge 2D6" as per the Random Charge Length rules. Once it makes contact it also has an improved Hammer of Wrath rule, granting it D6 S6 AP- hits. Whils the enemy gets to make some saves, you've now potential more than doubled the attacks granted to your Overlord. In addition, as Hammer hits these occur at I10 Step...do you want to sniper some more? I believe that if you charge into the model that you want to kill, i.e. the Powerfist or Power Weapon wielder (the threat to your Lord in CC), then this poor fudger takes the hits (front to back, before Pile In moves at their Initiative Step). Now most commonly, the Fist-fucker will be a Serg or equivalent, so once he/she (Hekatrix/Agoniser) fails one of those saves then you can 4+ Look Out Sir!, however this at least kills one of other goons, and will not always go off. Next, the Initiative steps occur and 90% of the time, the squad hits the Lord, whose Save is improved by +1 in CC, meaning there is less need to take Sempiternal Weave, saving the typical Necron force (certainly my own) 30 points straight away. He is relatively tough with T5 and a 2+ save, so if you have chosen your target wisely, he should be ok, then he gets to swing against the unit, giving one more chance to gut the dangerous weapon wielder before he she swings.. of course, in the case of a power weapon they will get to swing first, but then you have a 2+ armour save so really.. who gives a fuck about power weapons?
Before we carry on, a side note: Please remember that I am not stating this guy is a beast and will beat down anyone. For fuck's sake, pick your targets appropriately. 5 man units or units that really struggle to hit or hurt him are ideal. S3 units en masse will still do enough, they'll still roll enough 6's to wound. But 4's to hit halves incoming attakcs, 6's to wound followed by 2+ saves..? you get what I am saying here? don't charge a unit of dedicated CC troops or massive units unless you did it in combination with other units...such as another Barge and you've Dual Swept, Shot and Charged the same unit. Even then.. think.
I do have a question that perhaps you guys can help with? Can you attack the vehicle in CC or do you have to engage the Overlord? which UNIT is in CC? Or is it both? I need a reference please.. must have weirdly missed it.
Other elements to consider. Charging Vehicles. You can move 12" and charge 2D6", combined with the fact that you can now Charge with a chariot means you still, in actual fact, have the capability of pulling off a sort of 'sweep' against targets at 24" range. Realistically, you have a 19" range on average for this manoeuvre...but consider, you hit the vehicle in CC on just a 3+, no matter what vehicle it is. In addition on the charge, you get a +1A bonus. So your pseudo-sweep/charge is incredibly powerful anti tank. It is far from inconceivable that you will kill a transport in that pseudo-sweep.
As per the Necron FAQ you can still properly Sweep Attack against a different target than you shoot/charge at. So with correct first turn positioning and against anything from semi-mechanised upwards, you may have plenty of opportunity to Sweep Attack and Pseudo-Super-Sweep in CC against a second target. Across the Cron army, that 4 potential targets per turn with 2 Overlords.
That is a situational outcome, but not one far from the realms of possibility. At least it highlights the possibilities.
Another element to consider is that combined with Av13, Jink and the Overlords Symbiotic Repair you have a vehicle that should be flying around until it is penetrated and a 6 is rolled. Symbiotic Repair allows you to take a wound and fix Immobolised, Weapon Destroyed AND to repair a lost Hull Point.. the Immobilisation protection was immense in 5th, now in 6th we can do that and repair the final 'killing blow' Hull Point just to keep it going.. very powerful. Don't do it on the first Hull Point lost though for Christ's sake peeps.. just wait until you really need to use it!
Anyway, these are my thoughts.. let me know what you guys think about the above and what your experiences have been so far with the Chariotastic Command Barges..